North Korean media lashes out at skeptics, softens tone on Seoul, U.S.

Published: March 20, 2018 at 9:24 PM

Jennie Oh

SEOUL, March 20 (UPI) -- North Korea says now is only the beginning of inter-Korean relations as well as its ties with the United States, lashing out at skepticism from right-wing critics in South Korea.

On Tuesday, the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency published a commentary warning against "misleading reports through ridiculous nonsense," mainly targeting conservative groups in South Korea, who remain skeptical of the North's sudden willingness to hold talks with Seoul and Washington, as well as its commitment to denuclearization.

Right-wing politicians have stressed that Pyongyang has lied time and time again about its nuclear weapons, pulling out of international agreements and continuing to pursue nuclear and missile development.

They have also accused the liberal Moon Administration of attempting to use the dialogue momentum as a means to sway voters ahead of the June local government elections.

"Their useless gossip is the same as lying down and spitting, only embarrassing authorities who accepted our peace-loving request," the KCNA said. "We cannot look on as they mislead the public with absurd claims."

It also reaffirmed the North's self-professed completion of nuclear forces, saying the regime had "created the miracle of history in constructing a strong socialist nation, firmly crushing the schemes of enemy forces such as the United States."

It emphasized that critics must stop their "immature obstruction of the truth" and open their eyes to the calls for peace on the Korean Peninsula as well as the improvement of U.S-North relations.

The news agency did not directly mention either of the regime's upcoming summits with South Korea and the United States.

The reason may be that the North hasn't yet initiated ideological education for its citizens as it has done in the past ahead of summits with South Korea, Hankook Ilbo reported.

However, there are slight signs of change in tone in North Korean media reports, as they appear to have refrained from directly mentioning the regime's nuclear development.

They have also began referring to U.S. President Donald Trump as the "U.S. leader," as opposed to "the lunatic" as they called him earlier this year.

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